Tuesday, March 09, 2010


An Adult's Emunah

by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths

Children have a simple faith. A faith that expects their parents, and the world, to be fair. They don't understand real evil or those who would (G-d forbid) take advantage of them, until (G-d forbid) they encounter it (and if they're young, such an encounter will not be educational [in a negative way] but rather damaging).

When we get older we see all doesn't appear so fair anymore. People succeed that didn't work hard. People fail and lose everything that worked very hard. A young father dies of a heart attack. A middle aged woman who helped everyone she came in contact with is falsely convicted of a crime and suffers societal punishment. It's not that there is no fairness or justice, but we encounter many instances that from our perspective clearly aren't.

To understand we must graduate from a child's faith to an adult faith. If we are fortunate, it remains a "simple" faith - faith that we can only rely upon and count on it all being fair because of our Father in Heaven. Yet adult enough to recognize that indeed, from our limited worldly perspective some things don't appear fair. To know that we do not have the width of vision to understand the person reaping unwarranted success is being rewarded in this world to be denied it in the next. To see that the young father leaving this world is getting his reward sooner. To realize the woman is being given the opportunity to be scrubbed clean from lifetimes (yes plural) of errors, and even a window to, through earthly suffering, reach toward being a tzadekes.

We can't see these. But we either learn to trust our Father in Heaven that the world is not random, that these things have a greater meaning than we can measure, or we stomp our feet like the child and scream "not fair not fair not fair". And after screaming a while, we sulk off and say "if it's not fair I'm not playing". That's the way of the child.

At some point, to grow wise we must grow up.


yaak said...


RebNati said...

Baruch Hashem! this is the Emeser Emes!

Anonymous said...

this is very important counsel and precious distinction. sadly, many adults do not even have an idea of the difference. well written.

yitz.. said...

For me, the most important thing I have to keep reminding myself is that it isn't a zero sum game -- if I want HaShem to provide something for me, it doesn't mean it has to come at the expense of someone else, and if HaShem is providing for someone else, it doesn't mean I am losing out at all (rather in the sense of Areivut, I'm clearly gaining)

This applies even on the simple level of looking for parking -- if someone else gets a spot, it was intended for them -- and HaShem will provide you with exactly the parking spot that has been set aside for you. (at no detriment to anyone else)

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